Thursday, October 06, 2005

Repent!

The message of Christ and the apostles was “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17). This message was one of pending judgment and Jesus’ use of the expression “at hand” (egiken) is striking. In such a context it denotes imminent doom. It is the water of the Red Sea looming over the Egyptians just before it comes crashing down; the axe poised above the root of the tree (Mathew 3:10) moments before the fatal blow; it is the sound of the bell before the fight; the police pounding on the criminal’s door in the middle of the night; the bow pulled taut with the arrow poised. The hour of reckoning, the final moment of revealing and judgment is at hand! The glory of the kingdom of God and his Christ is piled high, like a great dam of water, threatening at even this moment to break into the decay of human history and wipe it clean. Who will stand on that day? Only those who have already been made clean by the blood of Christ. Now is the day of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. The message to “Repent!” is a message of warning, a message to beware—to take heed before all is lost. Cease from your sin, the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

4 comments:

Scott H. said...

Wow! Maybe James should just read this on Saturday night!

Gerald said...

He has it in his hands as we speak. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

Antonio said...

http://free-grace.blogspot.com/

For a non-Calvinist, non-Reformed perspective.

Gerald said...

Antonio,

Thanks for posting. I grew up Free-Grace and cut my theological eye teeth on Dallas dispensationalism (I’m a Moody grad), so I have a sense of where you are coming from. Toward the end of my Moody days I turned Reformed and haven’t looked back. To be honest, I’m not much interested in debating the merits of the Free Grace position. Though you won’t agree, I simply can’t find any basis for it in scripture. Only by wielding the dispensational knife can you even begin to find any relief from the many passages that insist upon perseverance in good works as a necessity of salvation. Even then, Paul leaves no fudge room. Ultimately I gave up the Free Grace position because I grew too tired of all the hermeneutical gymnastics that it required in its attempts to soften the obvious lethality of the Pauline warning passages.

Did you know that L.S. Chafer was a Calvinist and affirmed the Reformed view of perseverance?